Expect to see Patriots in Super Bowl contention for years to come
It might not have been the shootout we were all expecting and the excitement that comes with offensive football, but for those old-school fans and coaches it was a great game.
The lowest-scoring game in Super Bowl history was about running the football, and playing solid defence to win a championship. Both the Rams and Patriots’ defences had tremendous games against two powerful offences. But you knew the L.A. defence would begin to tire in the fourth quarter after being on the field for 44 plays in the first half.
The Rams’ D needed to stop the Pats’ run game after the Jared Goff interception on the New England three-yard line, but all these plays physically took its toll, and they didn’t have enough left in the tank to get that critical stop.
The Rams got enough pressure from their front four throughout the game, which allowed them to drop seven in coverage, and made it difficult for Brady and the Pats to get in the red zone and score points. This was only a 3-3 game halfway through the fourth quarter, and it looked quite possible a touchdown might not be scored.
Rams head coach Sean McVay, who supposedly is an offensive genius, met his match and more in Bill Belichick, who proved why he is the greatest football coach of all time. This was the second-ranked offence in the league, and he held them to three points. He showed everyone – once again –that he surrounds himself with trusting and very smart coaches. Let’s not fool ourselves, he’s the kingpin in building the team, maintaining the winning culture and getting his assistants to follow his lead.
As a football coach, The Freak is becoming a huge fan of Belichick, and how he game plans, builds a team and his understanding on what are the key elements in developing success each season. He’s not about bringing in superstars who are more concerned with their own personal stats than team success.
Coach Belichick wants players that are smart, tough, disciplined and unselfish, who can perform great under pressure to help the team win. One of the most impressive traits about Belichick and his teams over the years is that they can morph into any team depending on what this week’s game plan is against their opponent. No other team can do this week in and week out.
However, what is really New England’s most remarkable trait is in-game adjustments, where Belichick and his assistants can reach back to plays and schemes that might have worked seven years ago, and the players can execute it!
Case in point was the fourth quarter in the Super Bowl. Offensive co-ordinator Josh McDaniels knew he had to change it up on offence with the score 3-3, so he decides to go to a jumbo package with double tight ends, a full back, a running back and one wide receiver. The Pats drove the field for the winning touchdown with this package, which they did not practise at all over the last two weeks. This is what separates them from the rest of the NFL.
With Belichick going nowhere, we better get used to the Patriots being in the Super Bowl mix for the next number of years. This team is not a powerhouse, it's just a good solid football team that knows how to execute a game plan by a great coaching staff.
The only disappointment for Belichick in this year’s Super Bowl was probably the fact that someone on his defence didn’t earn the MVP, because this unit won the game. But, then again, this is an individual award, and he couldn’t care less about any of those achievements!
Enjoy the off season everyone, and see you again in the fall!
John Turner is a Summerside school teacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.